The Lead July 28, 2022: Buffalo soldiers get their due in Kerrville; the river is getting lower

The Doyle School Community Center celebrates an important part of American history.

Good morning, Kerr County!

Hot, muggy and generally disagreeable. That's the forecast. Highs in the 90s, lows in the 70s. No rain in the forecast.

On today's The Lead Live!

We are excited to welcome back the Hill Country Youth Ranch Executive Director Krystle Ramsay to the show. Ramsay is one of the state's foremost experts in the foster care system — getting a lot of focus in Texas. We're not sure who we will get from the Kerrville Convention and Visitors Bureau — Julie Davis or Leslie Jones — but we're looking forward to having either one of them share their outlook on the weekend. Texas Hill Country Advisors Andrew Gay gives us an update on the economy in the wake of Thursday's revelation that the nation is in a recession.

Speaking of recession

There was a furious debate about the definition of a recession because the administration of President Joe Biden is trying to soften the impact.

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However, it's clear that a recession has been underway for some time — thank you, gas prices. The other big hit comes in September, when student loan repayments resume after more than two years of grace.

Texas Republicans seized upon the news.

Twitter
See @tedcruz's post on Twitter.
twitter.com/tedcruz

Twitter
See @JohnCornyn's post on Twitter.
twitter.com/JohnCornyn

But it's a strange time in the economy, especially considering labor shortages across the nation. Housing costs continue to climb in most regions, and some big box retailers are looking to shed their inventories. Fox News said its media competitors embraced the White House narrative. Still, pragmatic economists saw a more complicated picture with the U.S. Federal Reserve aggressively raising interest rates to slow inflation.

Economist Paul Krugram offered this assessment:

Twitter
See @paulkrugman's post on Twitter.
twitter.com/paulkrugman

To make Thursday even more fantastic, there was another furious spectacle of noise from Washington D.C. when the Senate voted against a health care package to help veterans affected by toxic burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan. Leading the charge was comedian and activist Jon Steward, who battled for health care for veterans and 9-11 first responders.

Twitter
See @washingtonpost's post on Twitter.
twitter.com/washingtonpost

And then, on another weird turn of D.C. battles, our own U.S. Rep. Chip Roy, who usually votes no on everything, told Fox News that Saudi Arabia's new professional golf tour, LIV Tour, should be investigated. It's the same tour former President Donald Trump was enthusiastically hosting at his Bedminster, N.J. country club.

It was a one-time meeting, but 95 minutes later

The Kerrville planning and zoning commission has recently faced plenty of challenging meetings, but Thursday's special meeting proved that nothing is easy for the commissioners.

On the agenda was an item to create a planned development district on a parcel of land on Clay Street that would become a parking lot to serve the shopping center that is home to Golden Dragon restaurant. However, the agenda didn't provide an extra amount of detail — the city rejected this idea in 2018, leading to a lawsuit.

In turn, 216th District Court Judge Pat Pattillo ruled against the city, saying the shopping center was entitled to the parking lot. So, the city returned with the planned development district, which gives the city some leeway to have a say in the process.

Rewind to 2018, the plan for the parking lot was fiercely opposed by neighbors — many of them retirees and longtime residents. Those same residents returned Thursday to voice their same complaints about noise, traffic and the appropriateness of the land use.

However, as frequent speaker George Baroody pointed out to the commission — the points of the judgment placed the city in a Catch-22. There wasn't much wiggle room for the city in this discussion.

What Baroody questioned was the zoning on the land. To get the planned development district in place, the shopping center at 820 Sidney Baker was combined with the proposed parking lot at 829 Clay Street into one contiguous plat that now sits along Sidney Baker Street.

It was complicated, nuanced and frustrating for the commission, which frequently finds itself stuck between property owners and residents.

After 95 minutes of discussion, a public hearing and some handwringing, the commission came up with a plan restricting access from Clay Street, instead creating a circuitous one-way passage from Sidney Baker to the parking lot. The City Council will have to approve the recommendations, but the planning and zoning unanimously approved their work.

A master storyteller draws a packed house

Clifton Fifer is dressed as a Black Seminole Scout.

When you pull back Kerrville's history, Clifton Fifer's gift of storytelling will be legendary. That was firmly on display Thursday night when Fifer and many from the Doyle Community told the story of the U.S. Army's famed Buffalo Soldiers, mounted infantry and cavalry that served in the post-Civil War era.

Fifer has a long-held fascination with the Buffalo Soldiers, many of them who defended White settlers across the western frontier. It's also a story of discrimination, a seemingly uncomfortable discussion in modern-day Texas.

Thursday's program didn't shy away from Black soldiers' discrimination. In the post-Civil War army, western cavalry units were rarely in their forts — gone for long stretches on patrol or escorting settlers.

Texas' connection to the Buffalo soldiers is deep, with units stationed initially at Fort Davis before heading out for missions against the Comanches and Apaches.

It was a standing-room-only crowd to see a Buffalo Soldier presentation from the Doyle School Community Center.

Fifer's enthusiasm for the topic drew a standing-room-only crowd at the Doyle Community Center. Personally, Fifer led a discussion about another element of Black history — the Seminole scouts. The complex history wound its way from enslaved Africans escaping to Florida to Seminole tribal areas — eventually, these Black Seminoles made their way to Mexico before returning to Texas in the 1870s. Many Black Seminole scouts were stationed at Fort Clark in Brackettville, where their descendants remain.

Silvia Lewis spoke about her familial connections to Bracketville and her ties to her Seminole heritage. Others shared their stories.

Silvia Lewis, center, shares her connection with Black Seminole Scouts.

How low is the river?

We heard the Guadalupe River is visibly at some of its lowest points. So, we went out to the dams at Nimitz Lake in Kerrville and the Ingram Dam. Here's what we found:

Lake Ingram Dam trickling

Nimitz Lake Dam

Things to do this weekend!

First off, just watch the video with The Kerrville Convention and Visitors Bureau's Leslie Jones, who gives you a breakdown on the weekend events.

https://fb.watch/ez9nPIKFBX/

Things to do today!

  • Kerr Arts and Cultural Center Art Exhibits — Kerr Arts Cultural Center, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Information: 830-895-2911 The details: Through Aug. 13, three different art exhibits. Paintings by LaRue, "Kerrville Fiber Artists," Fiber art show by local artists, "Hometown Crafts Teacher's Show," an exhibition featuring the work of local teachers, sponsored by Hometown Crafts and Gifts.
  • Luckenbach Legacy, Hondo's Daughter, Becky Crouch Patterson Exhibition — Museum of Western Art, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Information: The details: Becky Crouch Patterson, a fifth-generation Texan whose father was the legendary developer of historic tiny-town Luckenbach, made famous by Waylon Jennings's classic song, "Let's Go to Luckenbach, Texas (Back to the Basics of Love." This is Patterson's original art, which he describes as a marriage of Texas Folk Art and Fine Art, plus textiles, memorabilia and works from her life. In addition to her work, Hondo and Luckenbach artifacts fill three cases.

Markets

  • Kerrville Farmers Market — A.C. Schreiner Mansion at the Butt-Holdsworth Memorial Library, 4 p.m. Information: The details: The Kerrville Farmers Market features a growers and producers only market in downtown Kerrville. They offer a wide variety of locally sourced produce, meat, eggs, bread, cheese, beer, wine and a selection of prepared food all sourced within the beautiful Texas Hill Country! The final market of the season.

Livestock shows

  • Battle of the Cattle — Hill Country Youth Event Center, 8 a.m. Information: https://www.battleofthecattle.com/ The details: We're going back to our roots & putting on an old-school BOC-style show for summer '22! If you've been around BOC for a while, you'll appreciate the classic Battle of the Cattle mega jackpot summer show that we've planned for you, jammed-packed with fantastic prizes, give-aways, a Texas-sized showmanship contest & a steer show that will knock your sombreros off.

Science and Nature

  • 1-on-1 with a naturalist — Riverside Nature Center, 10 a.m. Information: https://www.riversidenaturecenter.org The details: Naturalist, author, and columnist Jim Stanley and Texas Master Naturalist and native plant enthusiast John Hucksteadt will be available to meet one-on-one to answer questions, and discuss various topics, or listen to ideas about nature.

Performing Arts

  • "Last Gas" — Playhouse 2000 VK Garage Theater, 7:30 p.m. Information: https://www.playhouse2000.com The details: Nat Paradis is a Red Sox-loving part-time dad. He manages "Paradis' Last Convenient Store," the last place to get gas (or anything) before the Canadian border in northern Maine. When an old flame returns to town, Nat gets a chance to rekindle a romance he gave up on years ago. But sparks fly as he must choose between new love and old. This play takes a hilarious and sometimes heartbreaking look at love lost and found and what it means to "get back to happy."
  • "Matilda" — Hill Country Arts Foundation Point Theater, Ingram, 8:30 p.m. Information: https://www.hcaf.com The details: Matilda is a little girl with astonishing wit, intelligence and psychokinetic powers. Unloved by her cruel parents, Matilda impresses her schoolteacher, the highly loveable Miss Honey. During her first term at school, Matilda and Miss Honey profoundly affect each other's lives, as Miss Honey begins recognizing and appreciating Matilda's extraordinary personality.

Dance

  • Learn to Belly Dance — Kerr Arts and Cultural Center, 6 p.m. Information: The Cheeky Peacocks Dance Company The details: Bring a yoga mat, a bottle of water and a friend! The class is $10.

Live music

  • Mindy Brown — Cafe at the Ridge, 6 p.m. Information: https://www.shopsattheridge.com
  • Sean Kendrick — The Hunt Store, 7 p.m. Information: 830-238-4410
  • The Tailgaters — Pier 28 River Lounge and Pizzeria, 8 p.m. Information: 830-896-7437
  • Mark 2 — Joanne Marie and Me Wine Boutique, 6 p.m. Information: https://www.facebook.com/wineboutique1
  • Monte Montgomery — Southern Sky Music Cafe, 7 p.m. Information: https://www.facebook.com/southernskymusiccafe

Saturday, July 30

Fundraiser

Live music

  • Ukulyla — Babez Seafood Bucket, 5-8 p.m. Information: https://www.babezseafoodbucket.com/ The details: The cool ukelele sounds from Ukulyla, who covers some of your favorite songs.
  • Boone Holding — Southern Sky Music Cafe, 7 p.m. Information: https://www.facebook.com/southernskymusiccafe
  • Travis Pierce Band — Joanne Marie and Me Wine Boutique, 6 p.m. Information: https://www.facebook.com/wineboutique1
  • The Reefs — Kerr Arts and Cultural Center, 5:30 p.m. Information: 830-895-2911 The details: Local musicians, The Reefs will bring their feel-good beach music to the Center. Admission is $5 at the door.
  • Jaime Villanueva — Cafe at the Ridge, 6 p.m. Information: 830-896-0420
  • Nautical Nation — The Hunt Store, 7 p.m. Information: 830-238-4410
  • Uncle Brent and the NoStone — Trailhead Beer Garden at Schreiner University, 7 p.m. Information: 830-307-5990 The details: Uncle Brent has been serving great original Texas tunes since 2015. On the regular, Uncle Brent & the NoStone can provide respite to the weary by sharing a few drinks, laughs and music before sending the good people back into the world. Solo or along with his band, Uncle Brent creates a diverse and passionate sound, tipping the hat off to artists like Tom Petty, the Refreshments, and Whiskey Myers.
  • Natalie Rose — Crider's Rodeo and Dance Hall, 8 p.m. Information: 830-238-4441

Markets

  • Heart of the Hills Farmers Market — River Hills Mall parking lot, 8 a.m. Information: 830-370-7476

Performing arts

  • "Last Gas" — Playhouse 2000 VK Garage Theater, 7:30 p.m. Information: https://www.playhouse2000.com The details: Nat Paradis is a Red Sox-loving part-time dad. He manages "Paradis' Last Convenient Store," the last place to get gas (or anything) before the Canadian border in northern Maine. When an old flame returns to town, Nat gets a chance to rekindle a romance he gave up on years ago. But sparks fly as he must choose between new love and old. This play takes a hilarious and sometimes heartbreaking look at love lost and found and what it means to "get back to happy."
  • "Matilda" — Hill Country Arts Foundation Point Theater, Ingram, 8:30 p.m. Information: https://www.hcaf.com The details: Matilda is a little girl with astonishing wit, intelligence and psychokinetic powers. She's unloved by her cruel parents but impresses her schoolteacher, the highly loveable Miss Honey. For her first term at school, Matilda and Miss Honey profoundly affect each other's lives, as Miss Honey begins recognizing and appreciating Matilda's extraordinary personality.

Livestock show

  • Battle of the Cattle — Hill Country Youth Event Center, 9 a.m. Information: https://www.battleofthecattle.com/ The details: We're going back to our roots & putting on an old-school BOC-style show for summer '22! If you've been around BOC for a while, you'll appreciate the classic Battle of the Cattle mega jackpot summer show that we've planned for you, jammed-packed with fantastic prizes, give-aways, a Texas-sized showmanship contest and a steer show that will knock your sombreros off.

Sunday, July 31

Livestock show

  • Battle of the Cattle — Hill Country Youth Event Center, 9 a.m. Information: https://www.battleofthecattle.com/ The details: We're going back to our roots & putting on an old-school BOC-style show for summer '22! If you've been around BOC for a while, you'll appreciate the classic Battle of the Cattle mega jackpot summer show that we've planned for you, jammed-packed with fantastic prizes, give-aways, a Texas-sized showmanship contest and a steer show that will knock your sombreros off.

Performing Arts

  • "Last Gas" — Playhouse 2000 VK Garage Theater, 2:30 p.m. Information: https://www.playhouse2000.com The details: Nat Paradis is a Red Sox-loving part-time dad. He manages "Paradis' Last Convenient Store," the last place to get gas (or anything) before the Canadian border in northern Maine. When an old flame returns to town, Nat gets a chance to rekindle a romance he gave up on years ago. But sparks fly as he must choose between new love and old. This play takes a hilarious and sometimes heartbreaking look at love lost and found and what it means to "get back to happy."

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